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About Atago-jinja Shrine

The shrine is located about 3.5km from Sendai Station and 2.5km to the southeast of the remains of Sendai Castle (Aoba Castle). To the east is the Pacific Ocean, to the west the Zao Mountain Range, to the south Mt. Dainenjiyama (mausoleum of the Date Clan from the 4th generation) and to the north Mt. Kurikomayama. Stretching out below, you can see the clear waters of Hirosegawa River and picturesque scenery with ancient cedar trees and, as well as the main deity, Kagutsuchi (the god of fire) at Mt. Atagoyama, visitors can also worship twelve other gods.

Enshrined deity: Kagutsuchi (the god of fire)
Associated deities: Amaterasu (the sun goddess), Toyouke (the goddess of agriculture and industry), Omono (the great master of things), Oyamakui (the god of Mt. Hiei), Okuninushi (god of magic and medicine), Hayatama (god who rules the workings of nature), Izanagi (a creator deity), Izanami (the other creator deity) and four other deities
Divine virtues: Protection against fire, protection for those born in the year of the dragon and the year of the snake.

Annual Festival 24th July
This used to be held on 24th June but it was changed to 24th July on the solar calendar in the Showa Period and is still held on that date today. After the war, on the day before the festival (23rd), as a symbol of reconstruction, there was a procession of huge mikoshi portable shrines around the city with the help of citizens. Currently, the procession is limited to the shrine’s parish.

Fire-extinguishing Festival January 24th (old lunisolar calendar)
In the age of the gods long ago, the gods used water and river plants to protect against the disasters caused by the unruly Kagutsuchi (god of fire). This shrine, which enshrines Kagutsuchi, reproduces historical fact and has been passed down through the generations as a special Shinto festival that appeases disasters caused by fire. This festival gives special offerings to the gods that originated in historical fact.

Cultural assets at Mt. Asago

・Main hall, hall of worship, three ridgepole plaques
It is said that the main hall and the hall of worship were constructed by Masamune Date, an ancestor of a feudal lord in 1603. Successive lords carried out repairs and so on and recently, the main hall and the hall of worship were partially dismantled and repaired from 2000 to 2001.
There are historical records that show that the appertaining ridgepole plaques were also constructed and repaired by successive lords of the Date Clan.
1603: Constructed by Lord Masamune Date
1650: Constructed by Tadamune Date, second generation
1694: Repaired by Tsunamura Date, fourth generation
The shrine was designated as a tangible cultural asset by Sendai City in 1998.

Picture of Ushiwakamaru training for Kendo on one side

Picture of Minamoto no Yorimasa conquering a fantastic beast on the other side

・Votive picture dedicated to the 5th generation Lord Yoshimura Date
(Picture of Ushiwakamaru training for Kendo on one side / Picture of Minamoto no Yorimasa conquering a fantastic beast on the other side)
Yoshimura Date, the 5th generation lord of the Sendai domain, rebuilt the family fortune which was on the verge of collapse at the time he inherited the title and was called the great ruler of restoration and he also showed a superior talent for the arts such as Tanka poetry, painting and calligraphy.
Both sides of the votive picture are said to have been signed by Yoshimura.
The picture was designated as a tangible cultural folk asset by Sendai City in 1992.

*Structures that are not cultural assets but that merit a mention*

・Great Tengu long-nosed goblin / Small Tengu crow-billed goblin
Sitting figures of Tengu are enshrined in the two-storied gate; the great Tengu long-nosed goblin on the right and the small Tengu crow-billed goblin on the left. Tengu are said to be the servants of the gods of Atago.
They have been enshrined there for a long time but they collapsed in the Tohoku Earthquake. Repairs were carried out, including those to the gates, and they were restored to their former glory in 2013. They were said to have been built in 1804 and they are the largest sitting figures in Japan.

・Votive picture of small Tengu crow-billed goblin
The Date Clan’s worship of Atago is worth noting; it also warmly garnered veneration from the Katakura Family.
Kojuro (Shigetsuna) Katakura, the second-generation lord of the castle, prayed for victory at Kyoto’s Atago-jinja Shrine during the summer campaign of the siege of Osaka and dedicated the votive picture to commemorate his success.
This shrine’s votive picture was dedicated in 1868 by a descendant of the Katakura Family and is painted in the same colours as the one dedicated at Kyoto’s Atago-jinja Shrine.

Shrine Visit Instructions

1. Bow before passing through the shrine gates.
*Clear your mind, body, and spirit before passing through.

2. Purify yourself with water from the temizuya (water filled basin)
“Temizu wo toru” translates to purify your body and mind.

Temizu Instructions
1) Use the hishaku (wooden dipper) to pour water on your left hand.
2) Then pour water on your right hand.
3)  Pour water into your left palm and then rinse your mouth.   
* Please don’t drink the water!
4)  Pour water onto your left hand one more time.
5)  Please allow water to run back down the handle and place the hishaku back on the basin facing down.

3.Walk down the shrine path to the main shrine.
*The center line is where gods and goddesses pass through, so please avoid walking down the middle.

4. Move towards the monetary donation box and bow once. You may place donations into the box.

5. Bow twice, clap twice, and bow one more time in front of the inner shrine.
Bow twice・・・Bow deeply two times
Clap twice・・・Keep your hands in front of your chest. Then open up your hands to shoulder-width and clap twice
Keep your hands in front of your chest and pray

Bow once・・・Bow deeply one more time to finish

〒982-0841
4-17-1Mukaiyama, Taihaku-ku, Sendai-shi, Miyagi-ken
TEL 022-223-6096 
FAX 022-221-5767
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